Jon Gruden is finding out the hard way that saying something on social media never goes away. In a 10-year-old email that Gruden sent to a Washington Football Team executive, Gruden used racist language to criticize NFL Players Association president DeMaurice Smith. “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires,” Gruden wrote.
Gruden also talked about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with a vulgar description in one of several emails provided by the league to the Las Vegas Raiders this past week. On Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the league has now sent more emails to the Raiders front office from Jon Gruden for them to review. In the meantime, they will be monitering the situation to see how they handle it.
“The NFL sent the Raiders additional Jon Gruden emails to review on top of the negative one that surfaced last week and, per sources around the league, the NFL is actively monitoring the situation and waiting to see how the team will handle the matter.”
“I was in a bad frame of mind at the time [in 2011], and I called Roger Goodell a [expletive] in one of these emails too,” the Raiders coach told ESPN on Friday night. “They were keeping players and coaches from doing what they love with a lockout. There also were a lot of things being reported publicly about the safety of the sport that I love. I was on a mission with high school football [in the Tampa, Florida, area] during that time, and there were a lot of parents who were scared about letting their kids play football. It just didn’t sit well with me.”
The Las Vegas Raiders coach repeated that he was “not a racist” after his team lost in its first game since the 2011 remark surfaced.
“I’m not a racist,” Gruden said. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to D Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. … I had no racial intention with those remarks at all. I’m not like that at all. I apologize. I don’t want to keep addressing it.”
Gruden ended his news conference after a series of questions about the emails and his behavior.
“I’m not going to answer all these questions today,” Gruden said. “I think I’ve addressed it already. I can’t remember a lot of the things that transpired 10 or 12 years ago, but I stand here in front of everybody apologizing. I know I don’t have an ounce of racism in me. I’m a guy that takes pride in leading people together, and I’ll continue to do that for the rest of my life.”
Depending on what these next round of emails say, it looks like he’ll be answering even more questions about it over the next few days.
Gruden received little reaction from the Raiders’ home crowd when he took the field Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, but thet did, however, grumble after the offense managed just 259 yards against Chicago’s defense.
The Raiders have lost two straight after getting off to a 3-0 start.